Kamala (rhymes with “Pamela”) bought into the movement while cooking at Chicago’s famed Frontera Grill, where nearly every ingredient is locally produced. When she and husband Lance moved back to Oklahoma in 2001 and bought a house with a big backyard, the next step seemed obvious. “I said, ‘Oh, I’ll just start a garden,’ ” she recalls incredulously. “That’s like saying, ‘Oh, I’ll just have a root canal without anesthesia.’ ”
Her soil, unfortunately, was “horrid, black clay.” She learned to loosen and enrich the soil by tilling in copious amounts of composted cow and horse manure, green manure cover crops like clover and alfalfa, and even worm castings. Mulching with hay each year also adds organic matter as it breaks down.